Abu Dhabi: PM to inaugurate first Hindu temple in UAE, address 'Ahlan Modi' event

05:19PM Tue 13 Feb, 2024

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is set to inaugurate the BAPS Hindu Mandir in Abu Dhabi on February 14, marking a historic moment as the first traditional Hindu stone temple in the Middle East. 

The temple, which stands at a height of 108 feet and spans 262 feet in length and 180 feet in width, is a testament to the cultural and spiritual ties between India and the United Arab Emirates. 

Constructed on a generous 27-acre land grant from the UAE government, the temple has been built with pink sandstone shipped from Rajasthan, India, and marble from Italy, reflecting a blend of traditional craftsmanship and modern technology.

The BAPS Hindu Mandir, which can accommodate up to 10,000 people, is not only a place of worship but also a cultural complex featuring a visitor center, prayer halls, exhibitions, learning areas, and thematic gardens. 

The inauguration ceremony is part of the Festival of Harmony, which began on February 10 and includes a 'Yagna for Harmony' performed on February 11. This event is significant as it represents the first global harmony ritual in the region.

In conjunction with the temple's inauguration, Prime Minister Modi will address the Indian diaspora at the 'Ahlan Modi' event held at Abu Dhabi's Zayed Sports City Stadium on February 13. 

The event has seen overwhelming interest, with over 65,000 registrations received before closing on February 2nd. The stadium is expected to be a vibrant hub of excitement as it prepares to welcome Modi and celebrate this momentous occasion.

The BAPS Hindu Mandir is a symbol of peace, tolerance, and the enduring friendship between the UAE and India. It is designed to last over a millennium and features intricate carvings that narrate stories from Hindu scriptures. The temple's architecture incorporates environmental considerations, such as the use of fly ash in the concrete mix to reduce the carbon footprint and recycled materials for furniture in the food court.

The temple's construction cost is reported to be around 400 million United Arab Emirates dirhams, and it represents a significant milestone for the Hindu community in the UAE, which makes up approximately 6.6 percent of the country's population. The BAPS Hindu Mandir is poised to become a beacon of Hindu culture and spirituality in West Asia, inviting visitors from around the world to experience its grandeur and serenity.